If your customers don’t know how to interact with your website, they won’t be sticking around to buy. Design a user experience that keeps them coming back.
Create a website with responsive design. Each language has varying word length, and your website layout and design needs to be able to accommodate this - ideally, by being designed responsively. If your company website it not responsive, you may need to use considerable tech resources to adapt your page layout. If this is the case, consider re-designing your website to be responsive - you will probably want to update it eventually, anyway.
As you design the look for your website, don’t forget to consider font choice carefully. If you select a font that supports a wide range of languages (particularly those with special characters such as Chinese, Greek, and Arabic), you will be saving yourself a major headache in the future. And consider font size: while English may look great in 12pt font, Chinese characters will be extremely difficult to read. Adjust accordingly.
Also, make it easy for customers to change the website’s language. It is frustrating to get stuck on a website you don’t understand. Using clear, internationally understandable image markers to indicate a language menu makes it more likely customers will keep browsing.
Customers will abandon your website if language markers are not clear. If you choose to use the name of languages as language markers, ensure they are written in the target language (eg. Español, Français - not Spanish, French). Also, unless you are specifically targeting particular countries, do not use country flags as language markers. Spaniards may know to choose the Spanish flag, but Argentinians will not identify with it in the same way.
Lastly, be sure to pay attention to cultural details. Address format, units of measure, date/time format, and currency are a few examples of details that may vary from culture to culture. Respect these nuances - this shows your customers that you fully understand and appreciate their culture.
You are now two steps ahead of the average company looking to translate their website. In the sea of conflicting information, ancient technology, and questionable freelancers, it can be truly challenging to get a concrete idea of how best to translate your website. But with a little dedication and a discerning eye, your website translation process will be hassle-free.